The first rule of good writing is to love what you do! Of all the jobs I’ve ever had, writing is hands down the best. I put my heart and soul into what I do. I feel with my characters – I think about how somethings feels and I have my characters describe that for the reader. I have been known to write a scene based purely on what I’m feeling at the moment. If I go somewhere, then so do my characters. I try to describe what I see, smell, hear and sometimes even taste. If I can experience something and describe it well, then I can transport my readers to that place. When you love what you do, it shows. Writing is my adventure. Go out and discover what you love today!
The first thought that came to my mind was that social media control and dieting are a lot the same. Unlike other addictions that you can just quit, eating is something you have to do and this is what makes diets difficult. You can’t completely cut out food so you are constantly exposed to the thing you want. Social media is the same way for the independent author. We need to be on social media to reach out to our fans but it can be a huge time suck. You start reading and pretty quick you’ve burned hours. What happened to my writing time? Oh yeah… I didn’t get in and get out. So what do I suggest? Set a timer. Yeah, it’s childish but darned if it doesn’t work. Or only let yourself answer a certain number of Tweeps or Facebook comments a day. Pick one or two where you will have a strong presence. You do not have to do it all but while you’re there be sure to be warm, friendly and genuine. Best of luck and happy dieting. Did I really just say that?
Guest post for Fiction By Phoenix – Phoenix aka Lee Jordan is an author who loves helping other authors by posting tips on her blog. My guest post – “Feeding the Muses” http://fictionbyphoenix.com/on-writing/
Vroom, vroom – start your engines. Oh shoot wrong vocation. How about a cooking analogy? Get your creative juices from dripping to flowing or is that plumbing? No, no, we’re talking about writing. It never fails… when you can’t write (i.e. while you’re driving) you get little ideas starting to swirl and coalesce into something bigger and then, when you finally sit down at your writing media of choice… nada, nothing, zip, zero, fpht… blank.
I believe that each of us tackles this problem in our own way, but here is my advice to you, in case you’re stuck. As always my advice is free, so you are getting what you pay for. If you like it, then use it. If you don’t then please do ignore me. I won’t take it personally – I promise!
Care and feeding of your muses is a delicate business. I always carry a journal with me so that I can write down random bits and pieces. When I really can’t think of a darned thing to say – yeah, it does happen once in a while – then I go for a walk, talk to another author, look at pictures, listen to music, watch a movie or read a book. Sometimes I pull out an old idea and discuss it with my family or friends. It’s amazing what can happen when we share ideas!
As writers, I believe that it is very important to immerse ourselves in the culture of writing. Attend a workshop or class on an element of the writing process to get yourself revved up again. You might even consider teaching a bit of writing to kids. Talk about recharging your batteries! As a teacher, I can tell you that we love volunteers to come into our classrooms – especially if they are an expert at something. If appropriate you can even plug your book. Helping another author can give you that same kind of emotional boost that you get from seeing your work turn on a light bulb for kids and that really gets the ideas popping.
If you have ever seen a photo or painting that moved you, then you know what I’m talking about when I say that looking at pictures helps. I have clippings from magazines and downloaded pictures of celebrities that I use to visualize my characters. I use them for locations as well. Sometimes images almost speak to me. I have written many scenes by looking at a picture or while listening to a song. I nearly always listen to music when I sit at my computer to write.
Ask yourself what moves you and then try that. Most of all have some fun because if it isn’t fun, maybe it isn’t what you should be doing! Now, go get ‘em! I believe in you!
5 Steps to Promote your YA Novel by Lauren Klever
Reposted from thesecretwatchers.com
Today’s post is from talented YA writer Lauren Klever. Lauren is the author of Visions, the first in a series about a teen named Owen who discovers he possesses a special ability (I won’t spoil it for you). Lauren shares her advice on marketing YA novels.
Let’s start with this… I’m a huge expert! Listen to me! (I see you rolling on the floor laughing – STOP that! Okay – you’re right, I’m new and I don’t know a lot but I’m happy to share what I do know and never forget that you get what you pay for!) We all have to start somewhere, so here is my advice to you.
You have family and friends, right? (If not, go right to step 2.) No, really – use these people, they already love you. How do you do that? Well, I’m gonna tell ‘ya! Ask nicely, be willing to take a ‘no’ and be willing to return the favor. Have them be Beta readers (early readers) of your work. Be open-minded enough to listen to their advice. I didn’t say you had to use it. Just listen and think about it. If they love your work, ask them to share it. Specifically, have them share on every social media platform that you can think of! (Facebook and Twitter are big right now but don’t forget Goodreads, MySpace, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumbler and others.) PS: you should be sharing in all those places too! Also have them ‘LIKE’ everything and post reviews everywhere they can. (Is your work available on Barnes and Noble or Amazon? Have them rate your book and post a review on those sites as well!)
Know where you potential fans hang out. Most of mine seem to be on Facebook and Twitter but that may not be true for you. Check it out. Would a well placed flyer near a skate park catch the eye of your audience? How about getting an invitation to a Literacy Night at your local school? Or even an invitation from a language arts teacher to talk to her class about writing? Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
Build a website about YOU the author. On that site you can talk about your book, but the thing you really need to market is Y-O-U. When I started writing my first book, I knew nothing about SEO, backlinks, website design or Twitter. I was barely a Facebook user. (I can hear you laughing across cyberspace, but look at me now. An expert… not even close – a little smarter… you bet.) There are lots of choices out there so do some research and figure out what will work for you. I currently use Word Press. I like them a lot and find they’re user friendly but they’re not the only fish in the ocean and you may know a lot more about websites than I do.
Remember that you are now a brand. Keep continuity among all your social media and your website as much as you can. You are the brand so you want it to all feel the same. (We all recognize the Nike swoosh and McDonald’s golden arches, right?) How do you want people to know you? I once heard that if you aren’t willing to shout something into a megaphone across a football field then don’t post it. None of us are perfect but I do try to keep my sites clean. Since I write young adult, I expect young adults to look at my sites, hence and therefore; I keep them pretty much PG. I can’t think of even one PG-13 item, but I won’t promise you will never see it. I write for kids from twelve to one hundred and twelve – so there you go!
Now that you are a little more comfortable with what you’re doing keep researching and trying to improve yourself. Look for new ideas and recycle old ones you like. Start to follow some big names and see what they have to offer. I don’t know what your budget is, but mine was pretty much non-existent to start. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people. Being connected makes a big difference. Be sure to check out some awesome experts like… Kristen Lamb, Stacey Myers and Melissa Foster. These are three ladies I follow and read their tips and advice! I am still a work in progress. How about you?
My last thought… Be yourself but be your kindest self! Be sure to say please and thank you. Promote other authors and if someone does you a favor be willing to do one for them. As I like to say… We can all be better together! Just remember, in addition to your target audience, you should be thinking about those of us who write… bloggers and authors. As far as I can tell every single one of us is a big reader, too!
Big hugs and happy promotion of your book!
Lauren Klever is the author of The Secret Watcher series and a teacher. Please join her on her website and blog: http://thesecretwatchers.com, on Twitter @LaurenKlever and on Facebook. Her author page is found at http://facebook.com/authorLaurenKlever and The Secret Watchers Fan Page at http://facebook.com/OwenRyerseries
Reposted from thesecretwatchers.com
Reblogged from thesecretwatchers.com
Check out my article on Suite T (Southern Writer’s Magazine Blog)
Please leave a comment and let me know what you think! THANKS!
Re-posted from thesecretwatchers.com
The adventures of Owen Ryer and friends continue in this third installment of the five book series. ‘Dark Watchers’ want to steal his powers and they will stop at nothing to get what they want. From kidnapping to murder – When is enough, enough? Can Owen defend the ones he loves or is all hope lost as he battles the greatest evil he has ever known?
Owen is battle-hardened. He has firm control of his gifts and his own watcher to train, yet with two years of experience behind him things are not getting easier. As Owen grows in experience, so does the darkness and danger. Lucie is taken, making Owen realize just how much she really means to him, but is it her the ‘dark watchers’ want or is she only the bait in an elaborate trap?